DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Faculty and Staff: HR News > Return to campus survey

Return to campus survey results inform planning

Egan statue
(DePaul University/John Culbert)
As part of gathering research and recommendations to support DePaul's approach to re-opening and bringing additional employees back to campus, a survey was administered in June 2020. The purpose of the survey was to engage our faculty and staff so that their perspectives could inform the university's planning efforts.  

Within a week, 2,464 faculty and staff responded to the survey, representing a 57 percent overall response rate from the university's total population of full- and part-time faculty and staff. Respondents represented employees from all areas of the university who work at the Loop and Lincoln Park Campuses.

In their responses, faculty and staff shared concerns about the prospect of returning to campus in the fall. They also shared feedback on a number of potential safety protocols they would like the university to consider to prevent the transmission of the virus on campus. Click here to review the results of the survey.  

The information provided by the survey results has helped DePaul determine what can be done to make faculty and staff who need to return to on-campus activities feel more comfortable. Though planning is still underway, the university has implemented the following safety protocols to promote the health and safety of the university community.

Reduced Density on Campus:

DePaul is committed to ensuring a reduced density of people on campus in the fall. While there may be a desire by some to return to campus who are not asked to do so, we must keep in mind that for the safety of our community. The best course at this time is to keep our presence on campus at the minimum required for serving our students and continuing university operations.

Online Training:

DePaul is finalizing a virtual COVID-19 training to ensure employees are familiar with the basics of COVID-19, as well as the safety protocols implemented at the university. A training also will be available for students.

Flexible Work Options and Scheduling:

A significant portion of employees who have been teleworking will continue to do so throughout the fall. For those who will work on campus, flexible work options may be implemented by unit when possible. These include compressed workweeks, staggered shifts/group rotations or a hybrid schedule of on campus hours and telework hours. (Information about work options can be found in DePaul's Plans for Fall: An Overview of Employee Considerations Guide.)


For employees who will drive to work, DePaul offers affordable parking options on the Lincoln Park Campus and reduced rates for several parking facilities near the Loop Campus. For commuting by public transportation, information about safety protocols can be found on the  CTA, Metra and Pace websites.   

Required Face Coverings/Physical Distancing:

The use of face coverings on campus is mandatory (unless someone is alone in a closed room), and there is an expectation that a 6-feet physical distance is maintained. Even for employees who are working on campus, the expectation is that meetings will continue to convene via technology platforms to maintain physical distancing.

Office Cleanings and Disinfecting:

In addition to increased cleaning in workspaces, Facility Operations is implementing a number of precautions across campus, including: improved air filtration, plexiglass shields at front-line desks and work counters, hand sanitizer stations throughout campus, and a thorough disinfecting process for any space in which there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Screening for COVID-19 Symptoms:

Employees who will work on campus will be required to conduct a daily self-screening process for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving on campus. A university-sponsored app to conduct this self-screening, #CampusClear, will be available for employees and students. DePaul will not use this tool to monitor individual health data and users should contact their healthcare provider if they need medical advice.

Testing for COVID-19:

Since testing only assesses a person's infectious status at one point in time, providing testing on campus is not a practical prevention effort. A daily self-screening should be conducted and anyone who is experiencing symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19 should seek medical advice about testing. Testing sites are available throughout the Chicagoland area. Anyone waiting for test results is advised to not return to campus.

Reporting a COVID-19 Case:

All faculty, staff and students must inform the university if they have tested positive for COVID-19, received a COVID-19 diagnosis or learn of a positive case of COVID-19 at DePaul following this protocol. This will allow the university to provide the resources and support people need, and also determine if others were exposed and may be at risk. This information will be not be used for any reason not related to COVID-19.

Contact Tracing Team:

A DePaul-specific contact tracing team has been established to help monitor health and safety on campus by identifying and isolating cases, and quarantining close contacts, of COVID-19 cases.

Resources for Mental Health and Wellness:

DePaul's employee assistance program, offered by ComPsych® GuidanceResources®, provides convenient, confidential access to counseling, online educational resources and information. Call center and short-term counseling experts can help employees and their immediate family members.

Additional information can be found within DePaul's Return to Campus site, which is a compilation of information regarding the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our plans for the fall. These plans are guided by the following principles:

  • promoting the health and safety of the university community and of the communities where we study, work and live;
  • ensuring that DePaul's diverse community of learners has access to our nationally ranked academic programs and support services that will enable them to thrive;
  • supporting and maximizing student academic and personal success;
  • strengthening our university both now and for the future.

Above all, DePaul is committed to following guidance from state and local public health and medical professionals as we continue our fall planning and will be responsive to any possible changes in Chicago's COVID-19 trajectory.

We thank you for all you have done to respond to this pandemic and all that you are doing to Take Care DePaul.